Thursday, September 11, 2014

A Touch Of Jazz

If you have an aversion to attractive blonde jazz singers with a velvet like voice, this review probably isn't for you. What can I say about Melody Gardot? I first heard Melody on Putamayo's "Women Of Jazz" collection.

Now I like women singers. I always have. From Carole King to Randy Crawfird to Christine Kane (look it up) to Anita Baker. To drive my point hime, as a young boy, long before I knew what a husband was I pretended I was married to R&B singers Roberta Flack and Diana Ross. Obviously I also had no idea about the concept of polygamy.

Anyways, I don't pretend I'm married to Melody Gardot, but I don't mind saying I have a tiny school boy like crush. And Miss Gardot is not just a jazz singer with a pretty face, her story is quite remarkable. According to wikipedia:

While cycling in Philadelphia in November 2003[12] she was hit by a car whose driver had ignored a red traffic light. In the accident she suffered serious head and spinal injuries and her pelvis was broken in two places. Because of these severe injuries she was confined to her hospital bed for a year and had to remain lying on her back. As a further consequence of her injuries she had to re-learn simple tasks such as brushing her teeth and walking. The most noticeable effect of the neural injuries she suffered is that she was left hyper-sensitive to both light and sound, therefore requiring her to wear dark sunglasses at nearly all times to shield her eyes.[9] The accident also resulted in both long and short term memory problems and difficulty with her sense of time. Gardot has described coping with this as like "climbing Mount Everest every day" as she often wakes with no memory of what she has to do that day.[4]
After her accident, Gardot could not listen to the music she had listened to before, as she could not tolerate anything above a whisper. Because of this, she had to find quieter, more soothing music to listen to. She recalls that while on the treadmill learning to walk again, she would listen to Stan Getz's The Bossa Nova Years album.[16] Because Gardot could not sit comfortably at a piano, she learned to play guitar on her back while in the hospital and shortly after began to write her own music.[10] During her recovery, she wrote material that later became part of a five song EP, “Some Lessons: The Bedroom Sessions” that Gardot produced herself.[17] Gardot was reluctant to record her songs at first, stating that they were too private for the public to hear. However she soon relented and her songs were soon being played on a Philadelphia radio station.[

Melody Gardot
The Absence (2012)

Mira is the opening track from Melody Gardot's album 'The Absence. With a bossa nova style beat to it, it's perfect for dancing. And yet the singers smooth vocals make the song appropriate for <ahem> other things. As a self-proclaimed expert of female singers, I have no problem saying Melody Gardot is second to none.

Will Downing
Send For Me
Yesterday (2012)

Fear not ladies! I would never write a review and leave you hanging. This weeks cover is a jazzed up cover of an R&B classic called 'Send For Me'. The song was originally recorded in 198 by R&B group Atlantic Starr. Atlantic who you ask? It doesn't much matter, because after you hear Will Downing cover it, you won't much care about them. This man's voice is like is like butter, and the effect it has on women seems to be supernatural. Even my mother, who could be a nun (except she's not Catholic. Kind of a deal breaker) has impure thoughts about this guy. And while I can't say he has that effect on me, I can't deny the man has an amazing voice, and knows how to use it. Downing also has an amazing story. In December 2006, Downing suffered from polymyositis.[Symptoms include pain, with marked weakness and/or loss of muscle mass in the muscles of the head, neck, torso and upper arms and legs. Despite the debilitating aspects of the disease, he worked towards releasing a new album in 2010.[7] Love, Lust, & Lies: An Audio Novel was released in September that year. This track is from his EP Yesterday. Listen to his recording of Smoky Robinson's 'Ooh Baby Baby' and see what this man can do. Hopefully he only uses his powers for good.

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